At Stephens Dentistry we take pride in offering a wide range of treatment options, including a number of oral surgery procedures to help you achieve your oral health goals and your overall well-being.
Oral Surgery Briefly Explained
The term “oral surgery” refers to any procedure on your teeth, gums, jaw, or any of the surrounding oral and facial structures. It also includes a wide range of procedures, including, among others, the extraction of teeth, periodontal (gum) grafts, bone grafting, and corrective jaw surgery.
You may be a candidate for oral surgery if you have any of the following:
- Widespread tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Broken teeth
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Missing teeth
- Impacted teeth
- Non-cancerous lumps or bumps
- Oral cancer
Common Oral Surgery Procedures
Some of the more common oral surgery procedures include the following:
Almost all dentists prefer to save your natural teeth when possible. There are times, however, when an extraction is necessary and this is, in fact, the most common form of oral surgery. Extraction may be necessary if you have severe tooth decay, gum disease, or some form of dental trauma. Additionally, extraction is sometimes necessary to prepare patients for dentures.
A dental bone graft becomes necessary when you have lost a significant amount of bone in your jaw. If one or more of your teeth have been missing for some time, bone loss can occur in the adjacent area. That’s because there are no roots present to stimulate the nerves to send messages to the brain to provide nutrients to that area.
In this situation, a bone graft restores volume and density to the afflicted area of the jaw bone so that dental implants can eventually be placed there.
In other cases, gum disease has caused a significant amount of bone loss around the affected teeth. In this situation, a bone graft can be used to provide stability and keep the teeth strong and healthy.
Dental implants are considered the longest-lasting and most reliable option for the replacement of missing teeth. During this procedure, small, threaded posts – made of medical-grade titanium or zirconia – are embedded in your jaw. Once the affected area has healed, a dental crown, a dental bridge, or dentures can be attached to the implant.
In cases of moderate to severe periodontitis, this form of oral surgery may be needed to allow the dentist to thoroughly clean tooth roots of the plaque and bacteria that have accumulated under the gums. In cases of severe gum loss, a gum graft may be needed, using tissue taken from the roof of your mouth or acquired from a certified gum tissue bank.
Following Your Procedure – Things to Do and Things Not to Do!
Following your procedure, there will be some discomfort that can usually be controlled with OTC medication. As with any surgery, there is also the risk of infection, though very slight. Still another complication is a dry socket that occurs when a blood clot does not form, leaving your bone and nerves exposed and leading to dry-socket pain.
These risks can be minimized if you do the following after your surgery.
- Rest – Your body needs time to recover. If you lie down, keep your head elevated to promote blood flow to your head and minimize swelling.
- Ice – Use ice on your face to reduce swelling, usually 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
- Eat soft foods – For a couple of days after surgery it’s advisable to consume only liquids and soft foods, like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soups.
- Keep a clean mouth – For a couple of days after surgery, it’s advisable to rinse your mouth out with warm salt water several times a day, especially after eating to remove any lingering food debris.
On the other hand, following oral surgery things not to do include”
- Do not brush or floss around the surgical area for the period of time recommended by your dentist.
- Do not consume hot foods and drinks.
- Don’t eat hard, crunchy foods.
- Don’t consume alcohol for at least 24 hours after surgery.
- If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke for at least 48 hours.
Oral Surgery at Stephens Dentistry
If you’re suffering from any of the dental issues we’ve discussed and think you may be a candidate for oral surgery, your search for an Evanston dentist to perform oral surgery can end with a simple phone call.
We offer a full range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures, along with oral surgery, and we urge you not to delay. Call us today at (847) 864-8151, or if you prefer, contact us online to schedule a consultation with our dentists at Stephens Dentistry.